Joining the Exclusive World of Porsche GT

After 20+ years of wanting, 5+ years of savings, 2+ years of searching, and 9 months of waiting, I am now officially a member of the Porsche GT club. My ticket in is a custom ordered 2022 718 GT4. While it is not really a club, getting your hands on a brand-new Porsche GT car is harder than getting into most country clubs. Here is why, and my journey to getting my dream car:

Porsche’s GT road car division is headed by Andy P, aka “Mr GT.” His job is to take Porsche sport cars and make them into street-legal race cars for the road. His partner in crime is Thomas L, who leads Porsche’s Motorsport division and is responsible for the race cars you see on TV. Think 24 Hours of LeMans, the Rolex 24 at Daytona, and the 12 Hours of Sebring. The two teams work together to create near identical cars for different purposes: one that is street legal and one that will be raced competitively. This required process works in harmony because FIA rules dictate that GT-class cars have to be built based upon road going cars with limited modifications. I was told by several manufacturers that building race cars and their road going counterparts is a loss leader. “Most people buying $100k+ cars don’t want to daily or even weekend a track car, because they are terribly uncomfortable.” But manufacturers have to do it. The most recent GT marriages include the 911 GT2 RS and GT2 Clubsport, the 911 GT3 and GT3 Cup Car, the 718 GT4 and GT4 Clubsport. Both the street legal and race ready GT cars are likely not very profitable for Porsche because they are low-volume vehicles, but they represent a marketing play to get people to pay attention to brand through motorsports. Race GT cars on Sunday, sell regular cars/SUVs on Monday. This means that for the rest of us gear heads, we can get an insanely great track cars directly from manufacturers at a seemingly bargain price. A seemingly bargain price because true Porsche factory race cars designed for the World Endurance Championship will cost you $300,000+. This motorsports pedigree combined with the fact that all Porsche GT cars are limited production vehicles (even if they are not numbered), means that Porsche GT cars are the most sought after models in the 718 and 911 line up.

My journey towards GT ownership started when I was in high school, drooling over a Porsche race car (996 GT3) in a magazine. However it was only in the past few years that I started really thinking about getting one. I was on my first Porsche, a super low miles 986 Boxster S with RUF upgrades, but I was craving something more. Something faster around the race track and autocross circuits. The GT4 is what my heart desired because I like the modern mid-engine layout and Motorsport pedigree. As a racing aficionado, it is super cool to know what you are driving won a championship. I intend to do amateur auto racing with my GT4, so the motorsports pedigree is extra special. The GT4 costs $60k less than the GT3, however they both (991 GT3/RS) share suspension, brakes, drivetrain components. So in my book, it is the best bang for the buck Porsche you can get… if you can get one!

My first stop on the road to ownership was the closest Porsche dealership to my office. There, the salesman told me that I needed to be a long term high value Porsche GT customer for them to accept a custom order on a new GT4. He offered to sell me a used car instead. My next stop was the Porsche dealer closest to my house. There the salesman told me that he would sell me a GT4, but I need to give the dealership a $30k premium. Both dealers made me feel like I wasn’t worth their time. I proceeded to contact two more nearby dealers with similar answers. I asked a couple friends with GT cars about how they got there cars: one paid $100k over sticker to get his GT2 RS and the other was forced to buy his GT3 used.

By this time, I was thinking that buying a brand-new custom-ordered GT4 just wasn’t in the cards for me. I was even considering alternatives as I didn’t want a used car nor be price gouged. However a friend who works for a different automotive manufacturer suggested that I contact Jamie from Porsche Naples. Jamie was eager to make my custom order GT4 dream come true. He was transparent about the process and enthusiastic to talk to me. To top off the incredible experience, Jamie is also a true car enthusiast, so the buying process was like working with a friend versus a sales guy. Porsche Naples is located only a few miles from my Dad’s house, but I would travel cross country to replicate the buying experience at Porsche Naples.

In July of 2021, I pulled the trigger and placed a deposit on a 718 GT4. The next step was to play the waiting game for an allocation. Dealers get a limited amount of GT cars every year, so an allocation is Porsche’s way of saying we reserved a car for you. Every dealer get a different allocation set based upon sales history.

Four and half months passed when in November of 2021, Jamie called with the good news: You are getting a 2022 model allocation! I was beyond excited to be getting the vehicle. I had a good idea of the spec I wanted, but Jamie also made valuable recommendations to enhance the car’s appearance. For instance he convinced me to get yellow seat belts to match the yellow door straps. Looking back, I am really glad I checked that option box! What I ordered is a bespoke car with wheels, seats, interior trim, stitching, and materials tailored to my tastes. And of course being a GT car, pretty much all of the performance options were standard equipment.

Shortly after getting my allocation notice, I received an email from Porsche with a link to track my build. The tracker detailed every step of my car’s journey, from building to delivery. The Porsche Tracker website and app made the order process more enjoyable because I could get semi-real time updates on my car. Whereas when ordering cars from other manufacturers, I had to bug the dealer to get updates. On the flip side, the Porsche Tracker made the wait seem longer because I was constantly thinking about the car. The app also estimates your delivery timeline, so you are just counting down the days.

In January of 2022, when my car was finally being built, I received photos of it moving along the assembly line. If you ever had a child, I equate these photos to the ultrasound images. You know the little guy is there, but you can’t quite hug him yet.

Fast forward to March, and my 2022 Porsche 718 GT4 finally arrived the dealer. It was on a Saturday, which meant that I had to wait until Monday for Porsche Naples to clean the car and do a final pre-delivery inspection. That Saturday and Sunday was like the night before Christmas; I couldn’t sleep in anticipation. When Monday, the delivery day, finally arrived, it was a surreal experience. I was almost shaking as I couldn’t believe my eyes. My very own, custom-ordered, Porsche 718 GT4 was ready to go home. Driving it off of the dealer lot was magical.

At the time of writing this story, I have owned the car for 5 days. It feels infinitely more special than I anticipated with its aggressive stance and rear wing. It is still being broken in, so I haven’t floored it, but I can tell that this GT4 is ready to roar. The 4.0L naturally aspirated flat-six engine sounds incredible putting around town, the dual-clutch transmission shifts in a blink of an eye, the steering is incredibly precise, and the car hugs corners like their is no tomorrow. I will be taking the car to its first track day in May at the famous Sebring Raceway, where it will really shine. After all, it was born to be a track car. I also plan on racing it in the Street Racing Made Safe Autocross Series Presented by Cosmo Tires at Homestead Miami Speedway.

What is odd is that I have tested multiple Porsche GT cars over the years as a journalist, including a GT3 RS on track, but this little GT4 beats all of them with excitement… maybe because it is mine 🙂


I want to send a big thank you to Jamie at Porsche Naples for helping me make my GT dream come true, as well as to Andy Preuninger (aka “Mr GT”) for developing such an enjoyable machine.

Note: I did not receive any compensation from Porsche Naples, Jamie, or Porsche North America for writing this article. I am simply a huge fan of their dealership after they helped me secure my dream car.

BMW M3 Competition Review

“M,” the single most important letter in the BMW alphabet. The letter carries such heavy weight because it represented BMW’s Motorsport and performance devision. M cars set the performance standard for sedans, 4 passenger coupes, and SUVs around the world. Historically, M cars were built to go racing. Manufacturers, such as BMW, needed to create road going race cars in order to meet homologation standards, and that is exactly what the 2022 BMW M3 Competition represents – a road going race car.

While the M3 Competition Coupe might look similar to other 4-series cars from BMW, it is not. Under the hood is a 503 horsepower 3.0L twin-turbo inline-6 engine that will jet you from 0 to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds. It is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission, which is quick to shift, but it would be quicker if BMW offered it as a dual-clutch. With the M badge, you also get massive brakes, an aggressive suspension setup, motorsports derived differential. All of this comes standard at a starting price of under $80,000.

The danger of this hard-core BMW is that it begs to be driven hard. Every twisty road or highway on-ramp left me with a huge grin on my face. It is one of the few cars that still makes me want to take the long way when coming home after work.

My test vehicle featured an performance inspired interior that equally matched the BMW M3’s performance benchmarks. Carbon fiber, leather, aluminum, and performance textile seat inserts. This combination enhances the race car for the road feel you get when driving the BMW M3

The closest competitors to the M3 are the Audi RS5 and Porsche 718 GT4. The BMW M3 is quicker in a straight line, it is more practical with 4 doors and 4 seats, plus it costs less to purchase new. The GT4 on the other hand is more fun to drive, but not nearly as practical. The Audi RS5 is more comfortable than the M3, but it lacks the performance benchmarks and handling characteristics of the M3.

As an ultimate daily driver, the 2022 BMW M3 Competition takes the cake! It fits four adults comfortably and it can keep up with super cars around a race track.

The Corvette C7 Z51 vs C8 Z51: The comparison is Night & Day

The saying “newer is always better” rings true more than ever with the 2022 mid-engine Corvette (C8). Chevrolet broke decades of tradition by moving the engine from the front to the middle of the Corvette, but it made this evolutionary change for all the right reasons: performance, performance, performance. The Corvette, “America’s Sports Car,” has almost always relied on a big beefy V8 to win races: endurance, road course sprints, and drag races. They favored raw horsepower over modern engineering to dominate competitors such as Porsche and Ferrari. But now with the C8’s mid-engine layout plus a dual-clutch transmission, the standard Corvette has the horsepower plus the technology. In case you are unaware, the reason why the mid-engine design is so crucial is because moves the vehicles center of mass from the front of the car to the middle of the car. This allows for better rotation and more rear tractions, thus allowing you to go around a corner faster and accelerate faster.

During my most recent test of the C8 Corvette Z51, I had the pleasure of also re-testing the front-engine C7 Corvette Z51. The Z51 bit indicates that this is semi track-ready version, with bigger brakes, better engine cooling, and more aggressive suspension. Both of these vehicles also had optional magnetic ride.

Right away, I noticed that the C8 was quicker off the line than the C7. The C8 does have 40 more horsepower and delivers lighting quick gear changes via the dual-clutch transmission, but having the bulk of weight over the rear wheels also means better traction. The rear wheels will spin when you smash the gas pedal, but they lock much quicker.

Around corners, the C8 feels more planted than the C7. The perfectly balanced platform allows the car to turn-in better and instills enhanced driver confidence. Do I dare say that the C8 is the first Corvette that actually handles well? By contrast, the C7 was more of a point and shoot car: heavy braking coming into the corner, rotate the car, then heavy acceleration. Where as with the C8, you don’t have to brake as hard because it simply glides around a corner.

You can learn more about the interior quality of the C8 Corvette by reading one of my previous reviews, but the most important thing to note is that the fit and finish of a C8 1LT base model is better than a C7 3LT luxury model.

The base price of a C8 Corvette is only a few thousand more than the cost of when the C7 was new, however you can expect to pay a premium when buying a 2022 Corvette because it is in such high demand. With the C8 Corvette, it is not just Corvette enthusiasts who are clamoring to buy one, but also for the first time, Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini, Jaguar, and McLaren owners who want a super car they can daily drive.

2021 Car Of The Year: The Corvette Convertible

America’s sports car… I mean super car… has earned it spots as my pick for 2021 Car Of The Year. Presenting the 2021 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible. It is by far the best car on the market for under $200,000, and due to supply shortages, it is more exclusive than a Ferrari, Lamborghini, or Porsche. In fact, shortly after testing the Corvette Convertible out for week and showing the car to my Father, he ordered one for his collection. Despite having a garage full of super cars and previously owning two legendary Corvette L88s, the dealer quoted him two years to get the car.

The long wait times to get a new Corvette is not solely due to the global chip shortage, but more so to do with demand. Chevrolet is stealing customers from European exotics in droves because the new mid-engine Corvette handles exceptionally well, has a 0 to 60 mph time of less than 3 seconds, and it has killer looks. A buddy of mine is replace his V10 Audi R8 with a Corvette *fingers crossed* later next year.

To top it off, with a starting price of ~$63,000, the new Corvette Stingray is bargain. You won’t find that kind of performance or looks anywhere south of $150,000. But what is even more of a bargain is the Corvette Convertible. For only $7,000 more you get a retractable hardtop with better noise, aerodynamics, and safety than a soft top convertible. For comparison, Ferrari charged a ~$20,000 premium for 488 customers to get a retractable hardtop. As a bonus, this new hardtop can go up and down in a matter of seconds while driving at speeds less than 30mph. So in states like Florida where sporadic summer rain storms are common, you can easily let the sun shine in between each rain shower. However my favorite part of the convertible top mechanism is the rear glass window. You can raise and lower the window with the top up, allowing you to get a nice breeze during hot summers while also staying cool in the shade.

Per my previous Corvette review, the new mid-engine Vette place drivers in a space-aged cockpit with an all digital instrument cluster and infotainment center. The steering wheel has a flat top and flat bottom design to make it easier to get in an out of the vehicle, as well as increase viewing points. It also just looks super cool! Driving the new Corvette Convertible delivers an experience akin to a super car versus a sports car. The 500 horsepower 6.2L V8 and dual clutch transmission backs up the Corvette’s pedigree, but it is much more than that. The Corvette feels special every time you take it out of the garage. And the convertible model feels even more special with the speedster hump positioned right in back of you head. It is a head turner in every possible way.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee Goes Luxury

From the very beginning the Jeep Grand Cherokee was meant to be a bigger more luxurious version of the highly successful Jeep Cherokee. It served that purpose well, but myself, like most people never really considered the Grand Cherokee a luxury vehicle… until now. The 5th Generation Grand Cherokee and Grand Cherokee L are able to go toe to toe with its European rivals from Mercedes, BMW, Land Rover, and Audi.

The endless cheap plastic trim on previous generations of the Grand Cherokee has been replaced by real wood and leather. And in places were plastic is used, it is a high quality plastic with a nice finish. Along with better construction materials inside (and out), the 5th Generation Jeep Grand Cherokee received updated styling befitting of a luxury car. The lines throughout this 3-row vehicle have been sharpened to give a bolder presence. The beautiful wood trim on the doors, dash, and steering wheel is obviously a strong center piece, but the beautiful 10-inch infotainment display really steals the show.

The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L rides and steers better than any Jeep before it. Bumps are mitigated and there is absolutely no sway at cruising speeds on the highway thanks to an independent multi-link air-suspension system.

My test car was the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Overland, and it was so good that my wife and I are considering buying one over a Range Rover Velar next year. The Jeep costs less and I think it is a nice car all around. The big question is if we should buy the 2-row or 3-row version.

The Audi Q5 Sportback Is More Of A Good Thing

The trend now days to drive SUVs, but what do you get when you want to stand out from the crowd? The answer is simple, an Audi Q5 Sportback. It is nearly identical to the Q5, however the roof slopes more aggressively in the rear to give you coupe-like look. This small, but noticeable change makes the Q5 look very sexy.

Interior wise, it is still the same Q5 with standard leather seats, a high-tech looking instrument cluster, and intuitive controls. I really like Audi’s new design language, which I think will keep the Q5 looking modern for years to come.

Even with the structural change of having a sloped roof line, the Audi Q5 Sportback has just as good of visibility as the regular Q5. It is easy to navigate city streets, as well as park the vehicle. On two occasions, I had two full-size adults in the rear. Both passengers commented that they ample legroom and headroom, which is often times a major concern for couple-like SUVs. These same passengers commented on the lack of headroom in other press cars I recently drove.

There is a ~4,300 premium for the Audi Q5 Sportback, however you can’t put a price tag on style. It is also important to note that the Sportback comes with a number of optional features standard, so the price premium is negligible. Plus everything about this mid-size CUV/SUV feels extra special because of the roofline.

2021 Kia Sorento X-Line Snapshot

When it comes to delivering the best bang for your buck, Kia is unmatched. This is seen across the entire Kia lineup, but I was particularly impressed with my recent test drive of the Kia Sorento. The exterior looks typical of an economy mid-size SUV, so the striking element was its interior.

The seats on my X-Line test car were dressed with diamond quilted stitching, and paired with faux wood trim. The luxury feel was enhanced with two large digital displays offering an array of customizable screens for instrument readings, stereo options, and navigation.

While the Kia Sorento also drives above its weight class. The ride quality is comparatively comfortable for the economy mid-size SUV segment, and it steers very nicely for the $43,000 price tag.

It is a great contender for budget conscious families who want to elevate their game without draining their pocketbook.

2021 Ford Bronco Sport Carries On The Tradition

The Ford Bronco Sport is the tamer brother in the “Bronco Family” of vehicles (that can be a good thing). By the way, yes the Bronco name plate is no longer just a model, but also sub-brand of purpose built off-road vehicles from Ford. Similar to Mustang being the on-road performance brand.

While the new regular Ford Bronco is designed to be an extreme and versatile off-road vehicle like the Jeep Wrangler, the Bronco Sport is designed to be a little more civilized. It is akin to the Jeep Cherokee. Both of these SUV’s will get you out of the mud and sand, or through a snow storm using 4X4 drive modes and locking rear differentials. However I would leave rock crawling to their muscular brothers. By default, the Bronco Sport is front wheel drive. The rear wheels only engage when the vehicle’s computer detects a loss of traction. Even when you press the 4X4 “lock button,” the Bronco Sport is front wheel bias. This is likely due to the fact that the Bronco Sport shares many of its drivetrain components with the Ford Escape.

The Bronco Sport has dynamite exterior look. One that makes you feel adventurous, like you can conquer any mountain. But what is great is that it can also comfortably fit a family of four with luggage. Its off-road manners are equally as good as its on-road manners. Think of it as the perfect car to take on a Boy Scout camping trip to another state. You will look like a cool Dad and keep up on the trails without having to sacrifice comfort or interior space.

My pre-production test vehicle was quite bare, but nothing felt cheap on the vehicle. All of the materials were high quality, even the cloth seats and use of interior plastics. All of the controls are intuitive, and the on screen visuals of the instrument cluster and central infotainment system cool. Occupants get a nice little animation of a Bronco every time you start the vehicle – it makes the Bronco badge feel all the more special.

The Bronco Sport starts at around $27,000. So if you are in the market for an everyday off-road vehicle, suitable for both weekend adventures and commutes to soccer practice, the Bronco Sport is definitely worth a test drive.

The first ever 4XE: The Jeep Wrangler Goes Electric

The future is electric vehicles, there is no doubt about that. Certain parts of the European Union, as well as California have gone on record banning the sales of gasoline powered vehicles at a future date. Electric vehicle are great when it comes to saving the planet and lowering your cost per mile, but they are terrible for road (or off-road) trips. If you are in the middle of nowhere, an electrical outlet is hard to come by. Also, electric vehicles take forever to charge. This is why I am a fan of electric plugin hybrid vehicles. It gives you the freedom to use both gasoline or electric depending on your needs.

Luckily, Jeep has recognized the dual-purpose practicality of the Wrangler and has given us a vehicle that an act as an electric car around town, and act as a gasoline vehicle when in the middle of nowhere. To test how well it works, Jeep sent me the Wrangler Rubicon 4XE. The “E” stands for electric, because you can drive this Jeep at highway speeds for up to 20 miles without a single ounce of pollution. Past the 20 mile mark, a powerful, but fuel efficient gasoline motor picks up the pace by both driving the wheels and charging the batteries. The batteries are also able to charge using regenerative braking. The system worked flawlessly for me, with smooth transitions for both braking and power types (gasoline vs electric). I frequently forgot that I was driving on electric. In Hybrid Mode with a fully battery, the Jeep Wrangle Rubicon 4XE will intelligently switch between electric and gasoline drivetrains based upon maximizing fuel economy. When aggressive on the throttle, electric motors act as turbo chargers to give you that extra bit of pep.

To highlight the specialness of the Wrangle Rubicon 4XE, Jeep gave this vehicle cool blue touches on both the interior exterior: special decals, blue outlines on the lettering, blue tow hooks, and thick blue stitching on the interior. This Jeep feels extra uniquely special, which is refreshing because most hybrid versions just “borify” a vehicle. The only downside of the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4XE is the cost. My test vehicle was priced at just over $61,000, which is super reasonable for a sporty plug-in hybrid, but really expensive for a Wrangler that is going to traverse through mud and go rock crawling in the desert.

The 2021 Subaru Legacy Is The Best Sedan In Its Class

In all honesty, the 2021 Subaru Legacy is not the best looking car in this segment. It is not bad, but it isn’t the best. For instance, the exterior lines are nice, but boring. And the cabin has been drastically improved over previous versions, but it doesn’t hit the mark when compared to KIA’s jaw dropping interior design.

However, if you are more concerned with overall quality than style, then the Subaru Legacy should be your #1 draft pick. The ride quality and comfort are second to none in this segment. Bumps in the road a mitigated and the seats are plush, yet supportive. I could drive all day long in this Subaru without getting tired. The Legacy also steers really well; it is responsive with the right amount of feedback. When going around corners, the vehicle feels well-balanced for non-sports sedan. Subaru’s symmetrical all-wheel-drive system also helps keep you firmly planted on the road. Everything else about this vehicle is solid, from its accident avoidance system to it’s sound system. The build quality reminds me of a Lexus, yet you can get a Legacy for 1/2 the price.

I am not in the market for a economy sedan, but if I were, I would have already signed on dotted line for 2021 Subaru Legacy.